Federal government says Korea International Corporation Agency, KOICA has so far spent $500 million towards the realization of e-Government establishment for Nigeria. The Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu disclosed this on Friday at the launch of the e-Government Master Plan developed by the ministry. He said the amount was specifically spent on building a whole academy, providing scholarships to numerous government officials both for training in Korea and in Nigeria.
With this, he said that Korea has surpassed any other country that with regards to ensuring, at no benefits to them, that Nigeria gets it right in implementation of e-Governance. ‘‘It will be interesting to note that KOICA has spent for Nigeria and in Nigeria towards the realization of e-Government establishment more than $500m. In building a whole academy, providing scholarships to numerous government officials both for training in Korea and in Nigeria.
‘‘This country has surpassed any other country that I know with regards to ensuring at no benefits to them that Nigeria gets it right in implementation of e-Governance. I do not really know how we can reward them.’’ The minister noted that the Master Plan which intends to make use of the best Information and Communication Technology, was developed through research collaboration and extensive engagement with other relevant stakeholders and was largely made possible by the KOICA.
He said the initiative will drive transparency and improve the quality and cost effectiveness of public service delivery in Nigeria. He explained that the National e-Government Master Plan was developed with its vision and objectives linked to the Federal Government Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP), adding that the move would improve quality of life of citizens by enhancing national competitiveness, facilitating market economy, promoting participatory democracy, and improving transparency in the public sector.
Shittu said the initiative, which intends to make best use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) was developed through research, collaboration and extensive engagement with other relevant stakeholders with the support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The Plan according to him, also recognises the need to leverage Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to build a knowledge-based economy, adding that the ministry developed the Masterplan in fulfillment of its mandate to; “Utilize ICT to drive transparency in governance and improve the quality and cost effectiveness of public service delivery in Nigeria”.
He said the expected outcomes of the e-Government Master plan are clearly defined while measuring its performance. Citizens, he further said, are customers of the government and should be carried along through robust customer relationship programmes to continuously improve government services. In her remarks, the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Oyo Ita represented by Mrs. Maik Ajani described the initiative as a dream come through. She said the plan is important to the government because ‘‘the Federal Government’s Strategic Implementation Plan 2017-2020 has eight priority areas and two of these are quite related to efficient service delivery.
‘‘To produce civil servants that are effective and productive, incorruptible and citizen centered servants we know that ICT is key. Another priority is enterprise content management. There is no way we will be able to run with this in the ministries without a Master Plan. Working in silos certainly cannot help us. And so, for us, we are very excited and it is just the foundation for us to run. We hope beyond the launching, we will implement the usage to be able to achieve an efficient productive workforce.’’
In his goodwill message, the country director of KOICA, Mr. Wu Chanja said the launching of the e-Government Master Plan marked a major milestone in the federal government in its effort to improve transparency and efficiency in government and provide better public services to its citizens. ‘‘Nigeria is a very important partner of Korea and one the largest trade partners since 1971.
As such KOICA plays important role in strengthening the bilateral relationship between our two countries through the various social economic sectors such as education, governance, human capacity, human building even humanitarian assistance since the last 11 years. KOICA was established in Nigeria. ‘‘Since 2013, we have partnered with the Federal Ministry of Communications to implement e-Government capacity building programmes.
Through these programmes thousands of the government officials had been trained in Korea while some attained programmes in Nigeria. Also we have established e-Government training centre in Public Service Institute Training Centre in Nigeria and have succeeded in equipping it with e-Government training equipment. ‘‘We have also developed e-Government Master Plan. I want to assure you that KOICA will continue to support Nigeria to implement its e=Government Master Plan. I also call on my colleagues to support Nigeria, especially in the area of ICT because it plays very important role to the Republic of Korea.’’